2020 Vision: BIPOC Engagement in Seattle
In 2019, a partnership including The Seattle Public Library, The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture and the Seattle Office for Civil Rights embarked on an intensive community listening project with BIPOC communities. We shared the results, as well as how this project helped inform our pandemic public engagement programs.
About 2020 Vision: BIPOC Engagement in Seattle
In 2019, before anyone had heard the term COVID-19, a partnership including The Seattle Public Library, the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture and the Seattle Office for Civil Rights embarked on an intensive community listening project with BIPOC communities. With additional support from The Seattle Public Library Foundation, we worked to gather insights from BIPOC community members through an Emergent Strategy workshop with activist and visionary Adrienne Maree Brown, as well as online surveys and engagement with local BIPOC community members and community partners.
Through this research, we identified insights and best practices on creating dynamic spaces for communities most affected by racism to explore common ground around decolonizing, racial justice, and social justice. This included frameworks that allow BIPOC communities to leverage equity and inclusion resources to build power and unity.
You can find the insights and best practices from this research summarized in the 2020 Vision report. The report includes insights on preferred frameworks, engagement strategies, issues and approaches for affinity building across communities of color.
The 2020 Vision findings helped shape our public engagement strategies during the pandemic.
BLOOM Food Justice Initiative
In the spring of 2020, community partners Black Farmers Collective, Wa Na Wari and YES Farms teamed up with the Library, Seattle Parks and Recreation, and the Department of Neighborhoods to design an innovative food justice learning lab. Focused on Indigenous Sovereignty, Black Liberation, BIPOC Solidarity and mutual aid, BLOOM centers healing, joy, and ancestral knowledge.
Love in the Time of COVID
Designed to put a finger on the pulse of the first year of pandemic life, Love in the Time of COVID was a visual podcast that celebrated community life. This virtual, all-ages community event highlighted Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) solidarity and mutual aid.
Reflections Dance Festival
Co-presented with Friends of Waterfront Seattle, this annual love letter to the city during the pandemic featured sublime performances by cultural practitioners and contemporary performing artists. Reflections featured original videos of the artists by filmmaker Futsum Tsegai, filmed on Seattle’s Pier 62 at edge of the Salish Sea.
What the World Needs Now: A Dreamathon
Set in the fall of 2021, What the World Needs Now asked communities most affected by COVID-19 to reimagine a better pandemic life for everyone.
Ask an Abolitionist
During the protests following the killing of George Floyd, the Library worked with Art Club’s young civic leaders to explore the principles of abolition.
From a child’s eye view, Kids Clinic listened to our community's younger voices to understand COVID-19.
The pandemic could never stop Legendary Children. This unique, annual art experience is designed to celebrate the civic leadership of our region’s transgender and queer artists of color. Legendary Children highlights house & ball communities along with drag, spoken word artists, DJs, and live performances.